Reunion of Model & Photographer in 2 Cities by Paul Granese

One of my most iconic images (My logo) was taken over 2 years ago with a model in San Francisco. At the time I was living in Boston and she lived in San Francisco. We lost touch over the past two years. Recently I was in San Francisco and was looking out the window of my friend's apartment. On the wall of the apartment was the picture that I had done of Joanna. Out the window I could see the famed Art Institute of San Francisco right next to which Joanna lived.

Picture of Joanna with Art Institute in background

Picture of Joanna with Art Institute in background

I texted this photo to Joanna to see if she remembered me and the photo and she responded immediately. She was happy to reconnect but was dismayed to tell me that she no longer lived in San Francisco but had moved to Los Angeles two months before. I informed her that I too had moved to Los Angeles just a year ago and as it turns out we lived 20 minutes apart. 

Within a week we were back together again shooting in Los Angeles. We shot at the beach and in my private studio and Joanna once again demonstrated her remarkable ability to transform herself in every photo. Expect to see more of Joanna in the coming months.

Muse as a muse by Paul Granese


I went to see Muse in concert the other night and the experience reminded me of why I connect so well with this band. Muse is a band of artists who have eclectic style, range and dynamics. And I consider their music art because it has that blend of dynamics, range, composition and style - like a great piece of art, or a photograph. Seeing them perform flawlessly was a pleasure in itself but to experience the show of light and color and mood and shadows was brilliant. This is a trio of artists who express themselves musically, lyrically and visually, and all at the same time. It was not only a great experience but it was also inspirational to me as an artist.

 (Now if I could have only sneaked my camera into the concert instead of just using my phone)

My New Website by Paul Granese

I just launched my new website and I have to say it is the best looking one I have ever produced. I went from concept to published site in 24 hours. I have to give kudos to Squarespace for this. I found Squarespace to be the most powerful and feature rich website builder combined with the most intuitive and most user-friendly builder I have used. 

So welcome to my new web site! I hope you find it as interesting and exciting to view as I have found it to build. 

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Let Sleeping Horses Lie by Paul Granese

I met Brooke Shaden last year when she rented one of my studios in Boston for a workshop. She is an amazing photographer and artists and on top of that a genuinely nice person. The workshop was fantastic and although I was managing the studio and the vent at the time I did have the opportunity to watch her technique and learn quite a few things. 

Recently Brooke posted on Facebook that she is moving from the Los Angeles area and was selling some props from some of her photos as she couldn't take everything with her. One of the props was a mini carousel horse that she had used in a self portrait. In her post she stated, "These are my 3 all-time favorite props and want to give them good homes". I contacted Brooke and told her I wanted the horse and we arranged to meet in North Hollywood for the exchange. We met  at Starbucks and after catching up I took the horse with me and headed home. 

I was trying to think of where to place the horse in my house when I remembered that Brooke said she wanted a good home for it. So being bed time I put the horse in the spare bedroom and bade it a good night. The horse is still sleeping but when it awakens I have plans for it in one of my next shots. Thanks Brooke!



And here's the original photo taken by Brooke Shaden in which the horse was used... 


Copyright Brooke Shaden

A coincidental light by Paul Granese

I have wanted to do more night shots with a model but have not had the opportunity as I only had Speedlite flashes and could never find the right settings for them to give me the look I wanted. Recently I picked up a Paul C Buff Vagabond Mini battery pack so that I could use my studio lights outside.

It was a strange event that led to my acquisition of the Vagabond. One morning I was researching portable battery packs and decided I on the wanted to pick up the Vagabond Mini as it seemed to be the best price/feature on the market today. Once I decided on the Vagabond I did a search on Craigslist and I found one person in the LA area selling a relatively new used one. I contacted them and as it turned out they were going to be at a local camera store 2 miles from my house within the next hour. So I met the photographer at the store and grabbed the Vagabond. It must have been preordained that I was to get the Vagabond mini because I went from researching portable battery packs to picking up a great used one in a matter of two hours!

In addition to that great find I then looked for a model to shoot with that was athletic and found one on Model Mayhem and contacted her. Within minutes she got back to me and told me she was free that night as was I! So once I had decided to do a night shot I had acquired the battery pack and secured the appropriate model all within a couple of hours...

Living in Pasadena I am surrounded by mountains and within 10 minutes I was at the base of Echo Mountain with my gear. I took along my camera, the Vagabond Mini and one strobe with a softbox and started hiking up. Within 10 minutes I found the perfect spot with an amazing panoramic view of the Los Angeles basin. I set up my light and ran some test shots and then the model showed up. Actually she showed up a little late due to traffic but that was okay because it gave me time to find the right location, check the settings and lighting and allowed the sun to drop a little lower adding to the dramatic effect.

We took maybe a dozen shots before I got the one I wanted. It was exactly how I had pictured the shot earlier in the day. A quick packing up and a short car ride and I was in front of my MAC editing the photo. I modified the lighting and added some punch with filters in Photoshop and came up with the following picture. I am happy with the results of my first flash-filled night shot and look forward to experimenting more with this technique.


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